"It’s not how he died that made him a hero. It’s how he lived."
On December 30, 2004 at 2222 hours a complainant contacted the Newington Police Department and reported her concern for her mother’s safety. The complainant said that her mother called her and asked her to come to the house for assistance. When complainant called her mother back the phone was answered by her mother’s boyfriend who refused to put her mother on the phone. The complainant said her mother had been assaulted in the past by the boyfriend and the complainant believed "something was going on" at this time.
Master Police Office (MPO) Peter Lavery and a back up officer were dispatched to the call. MPO Lavery arrived first and was met by the victim, who had an apparent cut to her face. The backup officer arrived a short time later while MPO Lavery was speaking with the victim outside the residence. The victim indicated that there were no weapons in the home. MPO Lavery and the back up officer entered the house and attempted to locate the suspect. After clearing the main floor of the single family home without finding the suspect, officers proceeded to the basement. MPO Lavery started down the basement stairwell as his back up checked the last door that lead to the garage. As MPO Lavery descended the stairs the boyfriend opened fire with a high powered assault rifle, striking MPO Lavery 15 to 20 times in the chest and legs. MPO Lavery turned and fell to the bottom of the stairwell. The back up officer immediately notified dispatch that shots had been fired and an officer was down. The back up officer secured the victim and removed her to safety while additional officers arrived at the scene. No further communications were received from MPO Lavery. His bullet proof vest was torn apart during the assault. During the ambush, MPO Lavery was able to draw his weapon and fire one round prior to succumbing to his wounds.
He leaves his wife Pam, son Raymond, and daughter Samantha. He also leaves two brothers, both retired Newington Police Officers, and sisters-in-law, James and Hope Lavery, Sr., and Gerald and Pat Lavery; two sisters, Martha Riccio and Nora Petrash; and several nieces and nephews.
At Ground Zero 2004
911 Ride 2004